Steep suburban garden on coastal site

  • clients contacted me to redesign their suburban garden on a challenging sloping site beset by salty winds from the Firth of Forth (2013/15)
  • access to the main garden area was via steep outside steps from the house or uneven steps from the car parking area; as a result of this, the lower garden was rarely used
  • main request was to create flow & unity around the site, & to improve the planting
  • the uninviting front arrival space was improved by removing a hedge, rebuilding the steps, levelling & upgrading the drive, & creating a low-maintenance area mulched with beach cobbles to provide an attractive year-round border
  • new steps with terraced borders provide safe access to the main garden area & an arched gateway on the other side of the house means that all the garden areas are now linked together with no ‘dead ends/unloved corners’
  • lower patio was enlarged & levels adjusted for easy access; a glass screen replaces a dense high hedge so that wind protection now goes hand in hand with light/open views
  • new border areas have a mix of shrubs & herbaceous perennials for spring to autumn colour, with evergreens for winter structure; tolerance of salty winds was a key factor in the plant choices in this garden
  • clients enjoy adding bright coloured summer bedding in pots & raised troughs to hide walls & fences adjacent to paths and paving

“The parts of the garden that we used to hate the most are now the ones that we really love!”